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28 Feb 2012 21:59


Politics: President Obama exempts US citizens from indefinite detainment

  • then On the last day of 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act which, amongst other things, allowed for the indefinite detention of US citizens suspected of terrorism.
  • now Obama signed a policy directive today that exempts US citizens from that provision in the bill (Section 1022, if you’re keeping track). Here’s the fact sheet released by the White House. source
  • » Some nuance: Although the language in the bill as signed did permit for US citizens to be indefinitely detained, it did not mandate this. Obama actually said at the time that he wouldn’t implement the law such that US citizens would face this possibility, so his signing today of this directive is in line with what he’d pledged. Our take: While this development will surely please Obama’s base, we’re scratching our heads as to why the White House announced it on the day of what’s become the most important primary in the Republican nominating contest so far (Michigan). It’ll likely get completely lost in the news cycle amidst all the primary coverage, which would seem to blunt its political utility. Color us baffled.

22 Feb 2012 11:01


Politics: Corporate tax rates: Where Obama and the GOP agree, and where they differ

  • 32% the current corporate tax rate in the U.S., which many companies lower by using tax loopholes, leading to an extremely complex tax code
  • 28% the rate Obama wants to lower that too, while closing up many of the loopholes in the process, which might lead some companies to pay more
  • 25% the rate the GOP wants to lower it to; closed loopholes would have to be tempered, though, so companies wouldn’t pay any extra source
  • » Revenue-neutral or revenue-raising? The differing views of how the corporate tax policy should be reformed strike at the heart of differing philosophies the two parties have. Both agree on some basics — they’d like to figure out ways to get multinational companies to create jobs in the U.S., for example. “My message is simple: It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America,” Obama said during the State of the Union in January. However, they differ greatly on the ultimate solutions. Do we need to give such big tax breaks to massive oil companies? Democrats say no. Republicans say taxes across the board are too high. We hope they solve this, UFC-style, in “The Octagon.”

15 Feb 2012 10:36


Politics: Could Romney run out of big-money Republican donors?

  • I don’t know that he’s completely tapped out, but they are trying to look under every stone. You run out of people you can hit up for $2,500.
  • A top New York Republican fundraiser • Discussing the plight of Mitt Romney, whose campaign thus far has largely been funded by big donors. Seems that the well is starting to run dry, though, and unlike Obama’s strong contingent of small donors (which Santorum is starting to build up), Romney has never been able to rely on those. In fact, just by the numbers, most of Romney’s donors have been big ones — in 2011, for example, 82 percent of Romney’s individual donations were $1,000 or higher. Is this a long-term problem? Possibly. source

13 Feb 2012 10:13


Politics: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver: Obama’s budget a “nervous breakdown on paper”

  • This budget is a nervous breakdown on paper … We are still in a recession. We’re still struggling. Unemployment is still too high in every major city in the country. People are struggling.
  • Rep. Emanuel Cleaver • Offering a tough take on Obama’s forthcoming 2013 budget, which Cleaver suggests leans too heavily on spending cuts. Cleaver, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, says that while he disagrees with elements of the budget, the biggest problem Obama’s budget will face, however, is a broken Congress: “It’s going to probably have some difficulties over in the Senate. And it’s probably dead on arrival over at the House,” he told CNN this morning. “But that’s because of Congress is dysfunctional. The danger here is that we’re going to struggle around without addressing the major problems.” source

13 Feb 2012 10:02


Politics: Three things you should know about Obama’s forthcoming budget plan

  • cuts While still leaning on the “Buffett Rule” that he’s been pushing for months and planning to end the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich, Obama’s plan would also cut $2.50 for each dollar raised from tax proposals affecting high income-earners.
  • jobs With the GOP blocking much of Obama’s job plan last year, he’s taking another try at it, offering up $350 billion in job-growth spending, which includes $50 billion to improve infrastructure and $60 billion to modernize schools.
  • defense Echoing the words of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the budget proposal would cut non-war spending. However, automatic cuts set to kick in next year will likely get replaced by a “balanced deficit-reduction package.” source

07 Feb 2012 15:23


Politics: The Obama campaign promotes their Super PAC, with a disclaimer

  • The President opposed the Citizens United decision. … He continues to support a law to force full disclosure of all funding intended to influence our elections, a reform that was blocked in 2010 by a unanimous Republican filibuster in the U.S. Senate. And the President favors action—by constitutional amendment, if necessary—to place reasonable limits on all such spending. But this cycle, our campaign has to face the reality of the law as it currently stands.
  • Obama campaign manager Jim Messina • From a blog post on, titled “We Will Not Play by Two Sets of Rules.” In it, Messina attempts to explain why the Obama campaign, despite stated opposition to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling (and ostensibly Super PACs themselves), will be playing the same Super PAC game as the GOP candidate this year. This strikes us as a hard sell, especially to independents — saying President Obama needs to use a corrupted system in the hopes of ending said system doesn’t seem like an argument that would have much appeal to those not already extremely trusting of his administration. source

06 Feb 2012 14:11


Politics: Obama opens up big lead over Romney in general election polling

  • 9 point lead for Obama over Romney in the latest WaPo/ABC News Poll source
  • » It’s the largest lead either candidate has held over one another since The Washington Post/ABC News started polling Romney-Obama match-ups in April of last year. It’s also a huge reversal from just a month ago, when Romney led Obama by one. Why the change? Well, it could be the (slowly) improving economy, or the insanity of the Republican primary taking its toll on all the Republicans, or Romney saying that he’s “not concerned about the very poor” on CNN last week. Or maybe, people are just fickle, and Romney will be twelve points ahead of Obama next week.

31 Jan 2012 00:23


Politics: Obama’s “Hangout” session: The president’s taking resumes (seriously)

  • I meant what I said: if you send me your husband’s resume, I’d be interested in finding out exactly what’s happening right there.
  • President Barack Obama • Speaking to a “caller” during his Google+ Hangout today. When Jennifer Wedel mentioned her husband’s lack of employment (he’s a semiconductor engineer), Obama took note. She said that, according to industry reports, her husband “should be able to find something right away.” Five people got to “Hangout” with Obama on Monday, and were offered the chance to ask the president questions about his recent State of the Union address, while other questions were pulled from YouTube videos selected by viewers and Google staff. This social experiment went well considering what new technology was being used. Did you watch? What did you think? source

26 Jan 2012 10:13


Politics: Jan Brewer vs. Obama: An airport meeting turns into an epic battle

  • She wrote some things in her book he didn’t like: The tough-on-immigration Arizona governor, who was not particularly happy with the way the president treated her in a much-talked-about-at-the-time 2010 meeting, wrote about it in her new book “Scorpions for Breakfast,” and Obama didn’t like what she said. So, last night, when Obama got into Phoenix, this happened. “I will say that a picture is what it is,” she said. “I must say, I was not hostile. I was trying to be very, very gracious. I respect the office of the president, and I would never be disrespectful in that manner.” What we would give to hear that conversation up close. (AP Photo) source

24 Jan 2012 10:35


Politics: Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas disses Obama, skips White House event

  • I believe the federal government has grown out of control, threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country.
  • Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas • Describing why he decided to skip an event in which Obama honored the team for winning the Stanley Cup last season. While the event went off without a hitch, Thomas’ no-show has drawn a lot of controversy, as many felt that the move showed a lack of respect to the office. The team has distanced itself away from Thomas’ decision, saying they were disappointed Thomas didn’t join in. source